Standing Committee Meeting Report Education and Public Outreach

February 2020 - EPO

EPO Standing Committee Spring Meeting

February 24-25, 2020, UT Austin

Action Items

  • Contact Michael Hamburger for ideas about uses of old triple drum recorders as museum or even art pieces.
  • Attend the NSF-JSG SXSW panels and report back to the committee to see if IRIS should consider becoming involved in some way.
  • Create 1-page overview of potential IRIS involvement in Story Collider, as a Distinguished Lecture alternative 
  • Develop plan in collaboration with UNAVCO for assisting faculty in creation of diversity and inclusion statements 
  • Prepare conjecture map for a strategic planning meeting. 
  • Encourage future facility White Paper submissions by committee members and wider geoscience education community. 
  • Set up committee conference call for late March. 
  • Develop community proposal in collaboration with UNAVCO to host a workshop to gather community EPO recommendations for the future geophysical facility. 
  • Explore options to support instruction at Ft. Valley State University and perhaps Xavier University, through Simpson Fund application. 
  • Consider proposing a session about on-line teaching, venue/timing TBD (e.g., GSA, Earth Educators Rendezvous, etc). 
  • At next committee meeting, consider a temporal evolution pie-chart of focus area percentages (i.e., museum support going down, diversity and inclusion support going up etc.
  • In response to the lack of review prior to the RFP distribution, let CoCom know that an academic community member will be submitting a workshop proposal after consultation with NSF.
  • In consultation with UNAVCO, consider holding a joint EWO (SAGE/GAGE) committee meeting after the GAGE/SAGE meeting in August. 

Meeting Summary

The EPO Standing Committee met on February 24-25, 2020 at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG), Pickle Research Campus, Austin, TX. The attendees for part or all of the meeting included: In Person: Wesley Brown Kathy Ellins (chair), Vince Cronin, Deborah Kilb, Alex Nikulin, John Taber;  Virtual:  Eric Riggs, Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, Perle Dorr, Mladen Dordevic, Michael Hubenthal, Wendy Bohon, Danielle Sumy, Tammy Bravo

The meeting began with a review of the minutes and action items from the previous meeting, followed by a presentation and discussion on EPO program highlights over the past four months and the staff priorities for the next 6 months.  The IRIS Board guidance to the committees was reviewed, followed by a discussion of the recent NSF Dear Colleague Letter and the call for White Papers on desired capabilities for the new joint geophysical facility.  This was followed by a phone discussion with Maggie Benoit, the SAGE program manager at NSF, where the committee asked questions about the white papers and the potential to hold an EPO future needs workshop. The future of the IRIS/SSA Distinguished Lecturer program was then discussed, focused on potential options presented by committee and staff members.  Then there was an update on Quake Catcher Network activities, including a demonstration of new interactive software for displaying QCN stations and seismograms.

After lunch, there was an update on the status of IGUANA, the new urban and environmental geophysics diversity initiative under the SAGE award.  Then the upcoming GAGE/SAGE workshop was discussed, to identify potential pre-meeting workshops and potential Special Interest Group sessions during the meeting.  This was followed by a UNAVCO ECE program update from Donna Charlevoix.  There was then a discussion of the IRIS/UNAVCO Negotiating Committee report, followed by a discussion of how to organize a joint IRIS EPO/UNAVCO ECE advisory committee meeting to further collaboration between IRIS and UNAVCO.   This led into a discussion of current EPO goals and desired capabilities of the new facility.  Then a strategy for encouraging white paper submissions was discussed, along with the potential for an EPO future needs workshop.  The next topic was a discussion of potential activities to propose for the fall Simpson Fund RFP.   The day finished with an overview of the proposed SAGE II Y3 EPO budget and EPO priorities.

The 2nd day began with a review of the action items from the previous day, followed by the usual committee-only executive session.  After the end of the executive session, there was a presentation and discussion on how IRIS might expand support of geophysics activities at Fort Valley State University.  This was followed by a discussion of SAGE II Y3 EPO budget options, and the approval of the draft budget by the committee. The meeting concluded with the creation of a list of cross-program issues and information items for the Board that the EPOSC desired to be brought to the upcoming CoCom meeting.